Subscribe: Exotic Animals
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Exotic Animals


Reindeer Games

Tue, 20 Dec 2016 17:29:55 +0000


While I was in E


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The Unexpected Benefits of Training

Thu, 28 Jul 2016 19:59:57 +0000


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Field Trip! Using Unique Learning Experiences to Build Your Training Business

Tue, 05 Jul 2016 22:03:43 +0000

Visual lessons—at the zoo!


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Letter from Ken: From Russia with Love

Wed, 26 Nov 2014 15:20:40 +0000

I thought I would share a few highlights from my recent Russian adventure. 


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On My Mind: Adventures in Panama

Tue, 22 Apr 2014 16:18:25 +0000

What’s your escape?


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Karen Pryor Featured in The Whole Dog Journal

Mon, 04 Mar 2013 20:39:28 +0000

The March 2013 issue of The Whole Dog Journal features an in-depth article about Karen Pryor.

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Clicking to Help the World’s Fastest Animal Outrun Extinction

Sat, 01 Dec 2012 15:32:53 +0000

Editor's note

If you have experienced the power of clicker training, you know it has the potential to save animal lives. One Karen Pryor Academy (KPA) Certified Training Partner (CTP), Jade Fountain, has demonstrated that clicker training can help save an entire species! Jade recently journeyed to South Africa, utilizing skills and knowledge gained through the KPA Dog Trainer Program to help safeguard the world's fastest land animal—the cheetah.

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Thinking Beyond the Cue: Ken Ramirez Takes Animal Training to a New Level

Sun, 01 Jan 2012 18:08:18 +0000

Editor's note: Can an animal think beyond specific cues and generalize to a broader concept? Can you teach a dog to copy a behavior that another dog just performed? Can you teach the difference between big and little? Left and right? When we think of animal training, we don't often think beyond teaching certain cues. ClickerExpo faculty member Ken Ramirez offers a chance to think beyond the cue and rethink what dogs are capable of—when the right training method is used.

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Never Stop Learning: Laura Monaco Torelli Comes Full Circle

Thu, 01 Sep 2011 16:15:37 +0000

Laura Monaco Torelli, Karen Pryor Academy (KPA) Certified Training Partner (CTP) and the newest member of the KPA faculty, has been a professional animal trainer for two decades. Laura was introduced to Karen Pryor's philosophy and training methods in 1991 when Laura began her career training beluga whales, dolphins, sea otters, seals, river otters, and penguins as the Senior Lead Trainer at the John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. In 2000, Laura moved from marine to terrestrial animals, holding lead trainer positions at the San Diego and Brookfield Zoos. She has trained a wide variety of species, including primates, large cats, birds of prey, reticulated giraffes, Arctic foxes, horses, parrots, macaws, tree kangaroos, red pandas, and, of course, dogs! Laura's career has included one fantastic learning experience after another and is now leading her full circle—back to Karen, as she becomes the newest faculty member at Karen Pryor Academy.

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A Training Update: Niabi Zoo One Year Later

Tue, 01 Feb 2011 17:00:00 +0000

Time flies when you’re having fun!

Welcome back! Wow, it is hard to believe that one year has passed since the two-part series about our animal training programs at Niabi Zoological Society was shared on the Karen Pryor Clickertraining website. (Click here to read Part One of Building Behaviors at the Niabi Zoo, and click here to read Part Two.) We were also honored to have our training program featured in Quad-Cities Online this year. Click here to read that article.

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Podcast: Karen Reads Animal Attachment Selections from Reaching the Animal Mind

Tue, 01 Feb 2011 14:00:00 +0000

You’ll enjoy listening to Karen’s own podcast (available at the bottom of this page) – audio selections about animal attachments from her latest book, Reaching the Animal Mind.

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Media Files: KPCT_PC_1102_RTAM_06.mp3

On My Mind: Zoos Then and Now

Tue, 10 Aug 2010 14:01:20 +0000

What’s a good thing to do with a bunch of kids on a summer day? Go to the zoo! I’ve never gotten over my childhood love of zoos. I took my kids, and now I take theirs (you can share a memorable visit to the zoo with my grandchildren in Reaching the Animal Mind, Chapter 5, Creativity).

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KPCT Accepting Submissions for Canis Film Festival Video Contest

Thu, 15 Jul 2010 05:00:00 +0000

Over $500 in cash prizes and a video contract await the producers of top videos that showcase innovative and informative animal training featuring positive training methods. Everyone can qualify for entry, provided that each demonstrated trick or feat is achieved through force-free training methods, and submissions can feature any species.

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Building Behaviors at the Niabi Zoo: Part Two

Mon, 01 Mar 2010 16:00:00 +0000

Welcome back to Building Behaviors at the Niabi Zoo, Part Two!

Teaching cooperative husbandry behaviors is critical to excellent animal care. The many benefits of trainer patience, a shaping plan, excellent observation skills, clicker mechanics, and the ability to modify training sessions based on the animals’ needs can be seen in this the video just below of a cotton-top tamarin. In the video, the 14.4-ounce female tamarin calmly follows the target onto the scale for voluntary weights. Even as the scale moves slightly, she remains calm and fluent.

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Building Behaviors at the Niabi Zoo: Part One

Mon, 01 Feb 2010 17:00:00 +0000

The spring of 2008 was one of those times in my professional career when two wonderful opportunities merged into one. I was a few months away from completing the Karen Pryor Academy (KPA) Dog Trainer Program, honing my skills as a clicker trainer to help both animals and people. Just as my hard work began to come to fruition and I was about to graduate from the course, I received an e-mail from Niabi Zoological Society asking if I wanted to be considered as an applicant for their recently available Animal Training & Behavior Consultant post.

The previous Consultant is a dear friend and colleague of mine. I met Meg Hudson Dye in 1991 while we were both marine mammal trainers with the John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. Her career path moved her toward exotic animal training consulting, which led her to Niabi Zoo. When Meg moved to North Carolina, she resigned her position with Niabi Zoo to pursue other amazing opportunities (one as the training consultant for Duke University’s Lemur Program). Why is this relevant? As a result of the amazing groundwork that Meg began with Niabi Zoo, I joined a team of proactive and positive trainers, a team that already had great learning experiences with Meg. My thoughts went from, “Wow, this is such a treat to be Meg’s successor!” to “Wow…I have some big shoes to fill!”

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